Exemption from Dental Licensing Examinations
Within an amendment to the Dentists Ordinance dated January 28, 2016, dentists with valid licenses to practice dentistry overseas may be exempt from both the theoretical and practical examinations required to practice dentistry in Israel. Specific criteria must be met in order to be eligible for this exemption, most notably, the dentist must have practiced for at least five years of the prior seven years in their country of origin. A dentist who has attempted and failed one of the Israeli examinations will be automatically ineligible for this exemption.
See the Documents tab below for more information.
In order to practice in Israel, all dentists must pass a licensing exam (theoretical and practical). The exam is held twice a year. You may take the exam in English. You may take the exam before receiving Oleh status, but it is necessary to obtain Oleh status (or an A1 visa) in order to receive the professional license.
To register for the exam, dentists should apply to Misrad Habriut (Ministry of Health), Department of Medical Professions:
Licensing Department, Ministry of Health
39 Rehov Yermiyahu
Requests must be filed no later than 30 days prior to the exam date, however, it is recommended that you begin the registration process 3 to 4 months prior to the exam. Fees for each part of the exam must be paid at a branch of the Postal Bank (Bank HaDoar).
If you have questions about your eligibility to meet Israeli licensing requirements, please see: Professional Licensing in Israel
In order to qualify to take the exam, one must apply to Misrad Habriut (Ministry of Health) by submitting a number of documents. We suggest that you start gathering the necessary documents 6 months before the exam date you are interested in.
The following documents are necessary:
- 2 passport photos.
- 2 photocopies of Israeli identity card, including the address stub and/or photocopy of passport. It is possible to submit this document later in the process, if you are starting your application prior to making Aliyah.
- Final diploma in dentistry from a recognized university or certification from a university of completion of studies, completion of all requirements for the university, and entitlement to a degree in dentistry to be awarded on a certain date. Requires verification (see below)*.
- A valid license to practice dentistry. Requires verification (see below)*.
- An official record of your work in dentistry from the appropriate institutions, and notations regarding the start and end dates of work at each institution (in the relevant cases – a work card). For Olim seeking an exemption from the licensing exams, please see the box below for more information about work experience.
- A professional letter of good standing from the authorized bodies in the country from which the applicant immigrated to Israel. The letter confirms that there are no, and have not been any, disciplinary, negligence or professional ethics complaints against the dentist. The letter should be sent directly to the MOH from the same entity that issued your license.
- Application form: Medical Licensing – Questionnaire. Please make sure to have your name written also in its Hebrew transliteration. In addition, you must provide with an ISRAELI address and cell phone# (can be of friends/family).
- To receive a license to practice dentistry in Israel, graduates of institutions recognized to teach this profession overseas must successfully pass the government licensing examinations in dentistry in Israel. You must fill out a form, requesting to take the dental exam: Dentists – Request for Exam – Hebrew.
For Olim dentists who are seeking an exemption from the licensing exams:
In order to be eligible for the exemption from the licensing exams, please submit proof of 5 years work experience from the prior 7 years. You must provide:
- A Letter from an employer(s) proving 5 years of work experience- Official work permits from the appropriate medical institutions, and indication of the start and end date of work at each institution (in relevant cases – a work book)
- A dentist who works privately must show a letter from an accountant proving five years of private practice
- A letter from the clinic and a copy of the clinic’s license
Applicants applying for an exemption from the licensing exam must prove that their license has been continuously registered with the relevant authorities for the 5 years prior to making the request for exemption. Here is an example of an acceptable form of proof, from the state of New York. Different states/provinces might have a variation of this form. Proof of Continuous Registration – Dental – EXAMPLE
NOTE: The Ministry of Health DOES NOT recognize any online degrees in the medical or para-medical fields.
For the documents who require verification*, you have 3 verification options.
- Verified with an apostille after having the original document notarized (recommended).
- Bring it to an ISRAELI notary and have them notarize it.
- A verified copy (אימות העתק, Imut He’etek) at the Israeli consulate.
Do not submit any original files. For israeli notaries, see Notarization Services.
It should be noted that some of the documents listed above are only valid for one year from their issuing date. If you have not submitted your Teudat Zehut (ID) within a year from opening your file with the Misrad Habriut, you may be required to present valid, re-issued documents in order to request your license.
Misrad Habriut now offers a new customer call center to answer questions about licensing for health care professionals. Call *5400 from Israel or 972-8-6241010 from abroad. The center operates Sunday through Thursday, 8am-6pm, and Fridays from 8am-1pm, Israel time.
Dentists wishing to obtain an Israeli dental license are required to take a two part exam. Part one is a written test and part two is a practical exam.
Both of these exams can be taken prior to making Aliyah.
The second part of the dental exam will be given approximately one month after the first part. Please note that one can take the second part of the exam on another occasion in which the exam is offered.
After passing both parts of the exam and making Aliyah, one will be able obtain a temporary license. A permanent license is issued after working in Israel for one full year with the temporary license.
For details of the exam, see the Misrad HaBriut website.
Topics covered in the licensing exam include:
- Diagnosis, oral medicine, oral pathology and oral radiology
- Local anesthetics, and medical and dental emergency treatment
- Restorative and reconstructive dentistry, and dental materials
- Oral and maxillofacial surgery
- Application of basic sciences (microbiology, physiology, etc.)
The exam includes three sections:
- Part 1: Written examination which lasts approximately 4 hours, involving multiple choice questions. It is highly recommended that you be in touch with someone who has recently taken the exam to find out more about what is included. Write to firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance. You must receive notification that you passed the written exam before you can continue with the rest of the exam. Questions about slides, including orthodontics, questions about decay, x-rays, and correct diagnosis of oral lesions. Click here to view an old version of this part of the exam.
- Part 2: Practical exam using a dental mannequin, which includes one or more of the following: artificial fillings, beginning of root treatment, crowns (including prepping for a crown). There is a specified time limit.
If you take a preparatory course before taking the exam, you will have an opportunity to practice working with artificial teeth.
Please note: Misrad Haklita offers a reimbursement (up to 500 NIS) for Olim who took the governmental licensing exam for physicians. Your eligibility lasts for 10 years from your date of Aliyah. The reimbursement is ONLY given retroactively and will be paid back ONLY after submitting the receipt for your exam to your local Misrad Haklita office. Please contact your local Misrad Haklita office for more information.
Please note: if you didn’t participate in a Misrad Haklita preparation course for the governmental licensing exam, you may be entitled to a reimbursement for 2 exams (if needed).
License Recognition for Specialists
The following specializations are recognized in Israel: Endodontics, Oral medicine, Oral pathology, Oral and maxillofacial surgery, Orthodontics, Pedodontics, Periodontics and Public health dentistry.
Specialists must first successfully complete the dental licensing exam. One can then approach the Dental Scientific Council after filling out this form Request for recognition for a dental subspeciality (Hebrew only) and collecting the required documents:
Rehov Yaffo 97
Phone: 03 528 8054
For additional information please write to Shifra Bsor from the Israel Dental Association (IDA): email@example.com
Each specialization has its own licensing requirements. For a list of specialists see the following link.
Syllabus for National Licensing Examinations in Dentistry
* Langlais RP, Bricker SL, Cotton JA and Baker BR: Oral Diagnosis, Oral Medecine and Treatment Planning, WB Saunders Co., Philadelphia, last ed.
* Sharav Y. Orofacial Pain. in Wall PB and Melzack R (eds): Textbook of pain. Churchill Livingstone, last ed,. 1989
2- Oral medicine
* Wood NK. and Goaz PW. Differential Diagnosis of Oral Lesions. CV. Mosby, St. Louis, 4 th ed., 1991.
3- Oral radiology
* Goaz PW. and White SC. Oral Radiologie – Principles and Interpretation, CV. Mosby , St. Louis, 2 nd ed, 1987
4- Oral Pathology
* Regezi JA and Sciubba JJ. Oral Pathology. WB Saunders, Philadelphia, last ed.
5- Medical emergencies in the dental office
* Little JW and Falace DA. Dental Management of the Medically Compromised Patient. CV Mosby Co., St. Louis, last ed.
6- Conservative dentistry
* Baun, Phillips and Lund. Textbook of Operative Dentistry. WB Saunders, 2 nd ed 1985.
* Newbrun E. Cariology. Quintessence Publishing Co., Berlin, third ed., 1987
* Kraus BS, Jordan RE, Abrams LA. Dental Anatomy and occlusion, Williams and Wilkins Co., Baltimore, last ed.
8- Full denture
* Hickey CJ, Zarb GA, Bolender CL. Baucher’s Prosthodontics for edentulous Patients. CV Mosby Co., St. Louis, 1990.
9- Removable partial denture
* Henderson D, Mc Givney GP, Castelberry DJ. Mc Cracken’s Partial Removable Prosthodontics, CV Mosby Co., St. Louis, 1985.
10- Fixed partial dentures
* Schillinburg HT, Hobo S, Whitestti LD : Fundamentals of Fixed Prosthodontic.
Quintessence Publishing Co., Berlin, 1987.
11- Dental materials
* Craig RG. Restorative Dental Materials, CV Mosby Co. last ed.
* Wei Shy. Pediatric care – total patient care, Lea & Fabiger, last ed.
13- Development and growth
* Moyers RE. Handbook of Orthodontics, Year Book Medical Publishers, last ed.
14- Oral surgery and anesthesia
* Kruger Go. Textbook of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. WB Saunders Co., Philadelphia, last ed.
* Genco RJ, Goldman, Cohen DW. Contemporary Periodontics. CV Mosby, St. Louis, last ed.
* Carranza AC, Newman MG. Clinical Periodontology. WB Saunders Co,. London, last ed.
* Walton RE, Torabinejad M. Principles of Endodontics. WB Saunders Co., Philadelphia, last ed.
17- Implementation of knowledge
* Bashkar SN. Orban’s Oral Histology and Embriology. last ed.
* Nolte WA. Oral Microbiology. CV Mosby Co., St. Louis, 1982.
* The dentist ordinance 1978.
* By- laws of the Israeli Dental Association (chapiter b,c,d) 1983.
* Beauchamp TL and Childress JF Principle of Biomedical Ethics, third ed, New York Oxford University Press 1994.
* Weinstein BD. Dental Ethics. Lea and Febinger, Philadelphia 1993.
About 85% of all dentists in Israel work in private clinics or in group practice. Other employment opportunities include Kupot Holim, school clinics, Kibbutzim and hospitals. Dentists working in public institutions are allowed to work in private clinics as well.
For general information about dentistry, see the Israel Dental Association.
HaHistadrut LeRefuat Shinayim BeYisrael:
9 Kikar Tzina
Tel Aviv 63566
Phone 03 528 8054
The best way to find a job in dentistry is by networking and directly contacting clinics. Contact any dentists that you know and make personal connections with other dentists. Look up local clinics in your phone book and call them. For a list of dentists online see The Israel Dentists Association. Most clinics don’t advertise, and job vacancies are filled by word of mouth.
Professional conferences are an excellent way of gaining professional contacts. The Israel Dental Association has an annual conference, and specialists each have their own conferences. In addition, some companies selling dental products hold conferences.
Finally, job vacancies are sometimes listed by the Israel Dental Association.
A good working knowledge of Hebrew is essential. It is strongly advised to take Ulpan upon arrival. Even where dentists work entirely with English speakers, it is still necessary to deal with the various agencies that make up the Israeli medical network. When you first arrive in Israel, it is worthwhile shadowing an Israeli dentist (though this is not required). This provides an opportunity to learn the technical language that you won’t necessarily gain in Ulpan. In addition, some of the materials used in Israeli dental offices differ from what is used abroad. Finally, there are cultural differences that must be explored, such as the expectations of Israeli patients and how Israeli clinics operate. There is also the possibility that the person you shadow will eventually offer you a job.
The Ministry for the Development of the Periphery the Negev and the Galilee has instituted a generous incentive package to promote the Aliyah of physicians and dentists to the Galilee.
Immigrant physicians and dentists who will be living in the Galilee and working within Healthcare system in the Galilee by December 31st 2018 are eligible to apply for the following basket of benefits:
• Housing rental assistance
• Car rental assistance
• Culture and leisure memberships
• Professional enrichment and equipment
Click here for the details of the program including terms and conditions.
Thank you to Dr. Ari Greenspan for participating in this interview.
What is your current position?
I am a dentist in a private practice.
Does it make any difference whether you studied in Israel or abroad?
I have found that the dental education is better abroad. Regardless of where you studied, you need to pass the Israeli dental boards and get an Israeli license. This is a little difficult for older dentists because the test has a lot of the basic sciences that you learn at the beginning of dental school.
What are the benefits of working as a dentist?
In general, when you have your own business, you can control your own hours. Being situated in Israel, we have the advantage of being near Europe, and we often get products or techniques from Europe before America. Dentists have the potential to earn a good salary in Israel, in comparison to salaries in other fields.
What is the salary range?
If you are working for someone else full time, you earn 7-15,000 shekels a month (full time). If you are working privately, you earn between 10-25,000 shekels a month.
How is dentistry in Israel different than America?
There are a limited number of orthodontists in Israel. You can do more in Israel as a general dentist. Israel has more dental implants per capita than any western country. Whereas in America, general dentists don’t do surgery; here, more American dentists can do surgery and implants.
Dental work is also cheaper in Israel, so some people from abroad get their dental work done in Israel.
Is there a professional organization in your field?
There is the Israel Dental Association. I am also part of an Anglo-Saxon dental study club; we have a discussion list in Israel, and we bring in different speakers. Many of the speakers on the world lecture circuit for dentistry are Jewish. We bring them in, when they are visiting Israel.
What recommendations can you offer Olim interested in working in this field?
It is hard to set yourself up ahead of time. Once you make Aliyah and have an Israeli license, it will be much easier to find a job. It is important to know Hebrew to be able to communicate with patients.
Do you have any advice for students interested in going into dentistry?
Dentistry is a great opportunity. There are a lot of opportunities in the field. It’s hard to get started, but once you do – it’s great!
How do you feel about working and living here in Israel?
In a million years, I wouldn’t change what I have here. I love the fact my office is a multinational place. There’s a certain multiculturalism that exists in Jerusalem that is unique and exciting.
The overall quality of dentistry is poor. If you have good dental skills and people skills, there is a lot of opportunity here.
Special thanks to Laura L. Woolf, Chief Editor of English Language Publications at the Ministry of Aliyah and Integration. An additional thank you to Dr. Ofira Michaelson for her invaluable assistance. Dr. Michaelson works in private dental clinics in Jerusalem and Efrat.
ARMY REQUIREMENTS FOR DENTISTS & PHYSICIANS:
FOR MALE PHYSICIANS & DENTISTS
|You are either:||before your 27th birthday||27-34||34 or older|
|OR have an age of arrival:||before your 27th birthday||27-34||34 or older|
|AND have an Israeli medical license:||Yes||Yes|
|AND have completed your Shnat Histaglut*:||Yes||Yes|
|YOU WILL SERVE FOR:||24 months||20 months||EXEMPT|
Male physicians who are married and/or have children are still required to serve.
FOR FEMALE DENTISTS & PHYSICIANS:
|You are either:||before your 27th birthday||27-30||30 or older|
|OR have an age of arrival:||before your 27th birthday||27-30||30 or older|
|AND have an Israeli medical license:||Yes||Yes|
|AND have completed your Shnat Histaglut*:||Yes||Yes|
|YOU WILL SERVE FOR:||24 months||18 months||EXEMPT|
Female physicians and dentists who are married and/or single mothers do NOT have to serve.
*Shnat Histaglut (adaptation year – שנת הסתגלות) is one year, staring from a person’s date of Aliyah
The official IDF article about length of service for dentists and physicians can be FOUND HERE.
- Doctors will go through basic training and then they will join a 3.5 month preparatory program to get to know the army medical system. Depending on their Hebrew level, the army will decide if they need an Ulpan. This will leave them 14 months to serve as doctors in the army.
- Almost all doctors will serve as battalion doctors (in army bases and not in clinics), and will be giving general medical treatment.
- Doctors will only join the officers’ course if they wish to continue serving beyond the 18 months.
Physicians to which the above applies, will be asked to do Milu’im (serve in the reserves) until the age of 43. You will be paid a salary during this time. Regardless of your age, all physicians should be in touch with Nefesh B’Nefesh regarding the possibility of IDF service (The IDF may change the age limit at any time).
The army is entitled to draft you after six months. You are allowed to defer the service for up to twenty-four months from your Aliyah date. If you are asked to serve before the six month period, you are asked to sign a waiver – and it is your right to refuse.
For more information about army service, see Army Service – Length of Service for Men and Women. You can be in touch with the army directly by contacting Major Chen Tzaig, firstname.lastname@example.org or 052-925-1223
Serving as a Specialist
Physicians can serve as a specialist in their field only after completing their first tour as a battalion doctor.
Salaries in the Army
For the first 18 months, the salary is around 15,000 NIS per month. Physicians who wish to serve more than 18 months will receive a better salary.
This article was last updated on March 31, 2020.